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Nightmare @tritonmuseum Offers All-Ages Scares, Delights

Nightmare @tritonmuseum Offers All-Ages Scares, Delights
Nightmare @tritonmuseum Offers All-Ages Scares, Delights

Continuing with the widely popular Night @tritonmuseum events, the Triton Museum of Art bumped it up a notch with the Halloween-themed Nightmare @tritonmuseum of Oct. 23.

With dramatic readings by the Santa Clara Players and art demos by some of the most up-and-coming artists in the area, Nightmare @tritonmuseum was the place to be for Santa Clara’s oft-overlooked 20- and 30-something crowd.

In addition to the sought after portrait sketches drawn live by Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila, costumes and trick-or-treating on the Triton grounds were encouraged as local businesses doled out candy to dressed-up guests searching for treats.


Perhaps the most unique feature of Nightmare, however, was what may possibly be the first scare maze created by a museum. For $3, with all proceeds going to benefit the Triton’s exhibition and education programs, thrill-seekers toured the haunted Perish Museum. As the back story goes, little Lilith went into the museum, jumped into a painting and run amuck; causing heart-stopping chaos complete with blood, guts and masked figures.

From the creepy paintings at the maze’s entrance, to the black lit alley, and the fog-covered swamp to the clown (Miguel Machuca) sweeping the hallways, each turn was more twisted than the last, as guests delved deeper into the deranged museum until the final room where Lilith finally showed herself.

Many had underestimated the creativity of the museum staff and volunteers, most of whom had no prior experience with haunted houses. But, guests were overall pleased with the experience.

“We did the Ghost House in Fremont,” said Kay Korbel, who came dressed as Maleficent. “This is way better. They did a great job.” Others felt the same, with many looking forward to next year’s Nightmare event.

Nightmare @tritonmuseum Offers All-Ages Scares, Delights

“[I] loved it,” said Irene Steffen, who went through the Perish Museum on Saturday night. “[It’s] definitely not for young children as it is very scary, [but it’s] a first class event and a very reasonable price … My favorite part is the guy [museum staff member Myles Fenton] with the long fingers.”

Triton’s preparator, Bryan Callanta, who created the Night concept, initially wanted a fun house, but as artists got on board with the idea, it quickly shifted to creating the Perish Museum maze. And, although there was a slight staffing issue on Thursday, volunteers ramped it up on Friday and Saturday, making the Perish Museum a must-see spot for anyone looking for a fright.

“Thanks to everyone who helped make the haunted museum an awesome little community attraction,” said Vanessa Callanta – one of the artists who participated in the creation of the maze. “It turned out better than we thought and we hope everyone had a great time experiencing the scares.”

The museum will host a Coffee with the Curator on Monday, Nov. 17 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. where Chief Curator Preston Metcalf will discuss what curators look for when evaluating an artist’s work. Admission is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.


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